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What are you most passionate about

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What are you most passionate about [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 09:45
Maybe we can have a thread discussing the dreaded "What matters to you most" and "What are you most passionate about" essays.

What do people write about? Take an example of a father. Doesn't his kid matter to him most? If he writes about anything else, he would perhaps be lying. But you can't really write about family, cos that makes you seem immature.

How about a hobby? If you were most passionate about a hobby, then would it be your hobby? Wouldn't you be a lot more involved in it than that?

A philosophy in life? Really? Let's take an example, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Something like this is going to sound so cheesy that your essay will have to do a tremendously good job of making up for it. Making the essay personable will also become a really difficult job.

Your career? Look back at your career. If your career was your passion, then would you have achieved only this much so far? Moreover, don't you become one-dimensional if your career matters to you the most?

A social cause? Would you be making your cool $100K while burning more than a grand on a new laptop every year here in the US if a social cause was your biggest passion? If you are most passionate about ensuring that kids in the ABCD village in Mangolia are educated, then wouldn't you be in Mangolia right now, instead of writing essays?

This "most" word is making my life miserable. Everything that I think of, I can find why that is not the thing that I can be "most" passionate about, or why I should not be writing about it. If I answer this question honestly, I am most passionate about helping my younger brother grow up to be the best and the most successful man that he can be. That is one thing for which I can let go of anything. But there's no way I am writing about something like that.

Did you guys find the answer to the "most passionate" / "matters most" question very easily?
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 09:58
I wrote about surfing.. its an obsession for me, to the point where I have crept out of office, gone to the beach, skipped lunch, surfed for one hour and came back........

Now if I m risking my job to surf.. I think I should consider it to be a passion.!!!
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 10:07
I'm focusing on my desire to work in developing countries. I quit my job in Boston and moved to Bangalore to work for a start up KPO (a outsourcing consulting co.). I've been involved in setting up rural dev. projects over here, and I want to work with companies to encourage "smart growth"...responsible strategies that tap into the rural market in developing countries. I'm just trying to nail down what to say and not come across as an overenthusiastic kid...dunno about extracuriculars all I can say is I like to run and play video games. Lol, hello bschool I like to play video games...playing vids has taught me to think on my feet and to make quick decisions. Actually, I am having a hard time writing the essays without coming across as too passionate about what I want to do, because my long term goals seem to be a bit out of the norm.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 10:11
aviroop wrote:
Now if I m risking my job to surf.. I think I should consider it to be a passion.!!!


I see what you are saying. There's this school-for-poor which I helped set up in our village, and I've even let it screw up my grades a little (I did fine with the grades in the end) and I even changed jobs to stay closer to the school. One of the happiest moments in my life was when the first student from that school completed his under-graduate studies.

But there are so many things for which I can just give up on that school. If Princeton calls me up and says that if I give up on the school, they'll let my younger brother join Princeton, then I sadly will :( Also, the fact that I later decided to move to the US proves that my career became (or always was) a higher priority. So, doesn't that prove that the school is not my biggest passion? Similarly, don't you have anything or anybody for which you will happily give up surfing?

Perhaps I am just confusing myself unnecessarily.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 10:16
shmegs wrote:
I've been involved in setting up rural dev. projects over here


Great job, dude. When I was in Bangalore, I joined this free-education school in a nearby rural area as a visiting teacher. But I was quickly thrown out (Actually very kindly) of that place when they realized that their students weren't comfortable learning in English. My contributions ended with me donating geometry boxes to those students. Language becomes a big problem in rural areas.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 10:30
mneo,
I agree with your statement - hypothetically speaking, if I get admitted to any school in the east coast, I kiss surfing goodbye.

But point is you never give up anything for which you are passionate about. you seek opportunities where you can do it again and again.

There are things that you give up - when you face constraints, but that shouldnt take the passion out of you.

I am not making much sense here, except that passion to me is what I would do even if I faced a thousand challenges a day before I get to do it.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 10:34
If constraints and challenges are the only things that can make you give it up, then I think you can safely claim that it's your passion. But in my case, I know that a few hypothetical situations can make me happily (And selfishly) give up my passion. Does that mean that those hypothetical things matter to me more than my passion?
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 10:59
Mneo,

Yea language is a big barrier...thankfully I can get by with my broken Kannada.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 11:22
mNeo wrote:
If constraints and challenges are the only things that can make you give it up, then I think you can safely claim that it's your passion. But in my case, I know that a few hypothetical situations can make me happily (And selfishly) give up my passion. Does that mean that those hypothetical things matter to me more than my passion?


definitely not.
but at the end ofthe day, its you who defined passion. So what is right to me is wrong to you.

These types of essays cause headaches for days, but once you are convinced you found something - its gets over easily.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 12:30
The item I'm going to touch on is my passion to marry environmental stewardship with business. I'm firmly in the middle ground, much to the dismay of some of my colleagues, especially from the more "eco-nut" jurisdictions. I truly believe that green business practices are the wave of the future. If a business (or home) can buy, use, or make products that use less water, save energy (gasoline, coal, electricity) and prevent pollution (off gassing of construction materials, cleaner water and land, recycle more) these things all lead to lower costs as well.

This also comes out in my community involvement. I’m on the BOD for a local zoo and we have begun e-waste recycling with a local business that helps send funding to land preservation in Africa. I also volunteer at a food bank, reusing dinged cans to help hungry families instead of going to the landfill and being wasted.

Is it a passion? I'm earning less working for government to be a foot soldier in the fight. I volunteer my free time to these passions. Not only am I voting with my pocket book when I make a purchase, I'm taking a hit to my pocket book by doing what I do!
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 12:34
zakk wrote:
I truly believe that green business practices are the wave of the future.


Absolutely !! Focus on environmental business opportunities, you future entrepreneurs !!
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 12:41
I dont think we should take the 'literal' meaning of being most passionate about something. If so, then as Neo's first post suggests, nothing really will hold water.

For the essay purpose, I think it will be more fruitful to think of it as something that you would do in your 'free' time.

There might be a lot of things that we might want to do off work - but at the end we always prioritize/give pref. for one thing over the other. Now this 'one thing' which we tend to involve ourselves in most of the time indicates our passion.

If we dig deeper, try answering this question - if you had ALL the money and time in the world - how would you want to spend your life? Ofcourse if we look beyond the obvious mansions and personal jets, we will know our true passion ! but again, will this true passion be a good essay material? :)
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 12:44
aviroop wrote:
mneo,
I agree with your statement - hypothetically speaking, if I get admitted to any school in the east coast, I kiss surfing goodbye.


Not if you are truly hardcore. I have friends who surf in Maine all winter long. The best surf actually is when there is snow around. I actually saw a video of them surfing off canada and there was slush in the water.

I live in NH and there is plenty of surfing spots around here. Huge waves are rare but people go and enjoy themselves.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 12:58
I take this question to mean "what drives you and what drove you to make all the decisions you've made in your life?"

Why did you pick your first job? your second job? Why did you decide to apply for an MBA? Why did you move to where you live right now? Why did you pick up the hobbies that you have? Why did you do the volunteering work that you do?

In short, what is the UNDERLYING MOTIVATION that drives you to be the person you are today?

If you can answer that question and support it with all the stuff you've done in and out of work your whole life, you will have a very genuine essay.

Currently, I'm tied between three things... I still haven't REALLY sat down and think it through and map it to my experiences.

I have enough stuff to support any of the three, but I will be spending the next few weeks thinking about them and figuring out the ONE motivation that has driven me to where I am today.

I don't know if one really needs to connect this to how you will reach your business/career goals in the future or how this applies to business school, but I think if you truly show the adcom that you understand yourself and let them see who you are, the connection for why you should be in that school should be clear...

Either that or I'm just wishfully thinking ;)

Last edited by kryzak on 23 Aug 2007, 16:20, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 12:59
grad_mba wrote:

If we dig deeper, try answering this question - if you had ALL the money and time in the world - how would you want to spend your life? Ofcourse if we look beyond the obvious mansions and personal jets, we will know our true passion ! but again, will this true passion be a good essay material? :)


so laying in a hammock sipping beers from around the world watching my wife garden is my passion?

8-)
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 13:14
the way I am interpreting this question is that I am trying to show my personal side... I am not trying to connect passion with work for my case.

I asked my friend and he told me that his passion was to encourage his IB friends to have a work life balance.. the dude is posting fliers, hosting after work parties..golf outings, so that his work mates get to have some fun... gr8 idea, gr8 story.. ties everything together.. (work, life, community, etc)

I, on the other hand, solely focussing on myself.. bothg ood and bad.. good coz I am making a more personal picture to the ad com guy, bad coz I am only talking about my personal side.

There is a pretty good passions essay in the bodine book.. I read that to get some ideas how people are treating this subject.

I would love if my gf would do the laundry while i sleep.. aint happening :wink:

as for surfing in NH in winter.. how cold is the water.. I surfed in SF in winter and froze my butt off in the frigid waters wearing a wet suit.. cant really picture NH in winter.. I would be an icicle.. but hey, might give it a shot.

Is everybody wrapping up their essays... and getting feedback??
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 13:21
Guys, some very good points.

So, considering that the discussion in this thread has been using these questions interchangeably (including my posts), what differentiates these questions:

1 What motivates you?
2 What are you most passionate about?
3 What matters to you the most?
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 13:59
mNeo: I think all three questions are just different sides of a coin (if a coin has 3 sides) ;) Unless one school asks two or three of these questions separately, I would assume they're the same.

glad to hear others are also focusing on the personal side instead of having to link it with your business goals. For Stanford, I think from what I gathered, the adcom wants to know about YOU, and that's why they allocated the most pages (3) to this question, while the goals and other leadership questions only occupy 1-2 pages. Other schools may be different, so make sure you understand whether they're trying to ask it the same way Stanford does, or they want you see how you link it with the business side of things.

as for essays, haha, I only have Short Essay 1 draft and the goals draft done... the rest are still in outline form. Will be working on those all this week. A friend or two will be reading them for overall impact this weekend. Then I give it the "rhyme test" ;)
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 18:53
kryzak wrote:
I take this question to mean "what drives you and what drove you to make all the decisions you've made in your life?"

Why did you pick your first job? your second job? Why did you decide to apply for an MBA? Why did you move to where you live right now? Why did you pick up the hobbies that you have? Why did you do the volunteering work that you do?

In short, what is the UNDERLYING MOTIVATION that drives you to be the person you are today?

If you can answer that question and support it with all the stuff you've done in and out of work your whole life, you will have a very genuine essay.


This is tricky, your approach definitely makes sense. To find what really drives you, but truth be told, there are a few of us motivated by money and material wealth. But that would obviously be a bad thing to put?

Or like myself, I'm motivated by competition and challenge. I changed jobs because I felt it would be a challenge to learn something, to make myself more competitive in the job market by learning new skills. I have the hobbies that I have because I get to compete against people, I enjoy winning, or learning new things when I lose. However, if I wrote an entire essay on that, I might just come across as a grade A ultra competitive ego driven nut :?

:(

I'm really motivated by competitiveness. That drives me. But can I write about that?
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2007, 19:21
adc, you can probably spin competitiveness in a very good way. Use the positive sides of competitiveness to show that you love challenges and the exhilaration of completing a task or "winning", but emphasize that if you lose, you really learn your mistakes and that makes you better as a person. If you avoid the negatives of competitiveness (i.e. cutthroat, backstabbing, anger, etc...), you should do ok.

Actually, *not* to copy you or anything, I am a pretty competitive guy too, and that drives a few of the things I do (getting into better schools, winning sports matches, etc..), but I don't let losses get to me... but just to avoid having the same topic as you, I'll probably phrase it as "love for challenges" or something...
  [#permalink] 21 Aug 2007, 19:21
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